What a Nice Guy by Phil Torcivia

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fan?

I sat peacefully while being entertained by the NBA Finals last night. I don’t like Lebron James—not one bit—but I don’t need to express my displeasure about his arrogance by yelling at the TV. That’s a futile and cowardly thing to do because he can’t hear it nearly as well as the other patrons in the bar can.

It never fails. There’s always “that guy” in the sports bar who is carrying on excessively. Usually this man was also the last one selected in gym class. This time it was a petite, balding Jewish fellow making a fuss. (I’m not going to explain how I knew he was Jewish. You know how.)

Here are some of the witty quotes this simpleton provided:
  • “He was fouled, Ref. Are you fucking blind?”
  • “That wasn’t a foul. All ball!”
  • “Wade is the fucking man. High five!”
  • “Can someone please cover Nowitski?”
  • “Bullshit!”
  • “Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.”
  • “Where’s the fucking defense?”
  • “Oh my god. How did you miss that?”
  • “That’s you, Bosh. You da man.”
  • “Threeeeeee!” – While holding up three stumpy fingers.
When people act that way it creates haters. Even fans who were once fellow supporters will switch sides to root against anything this idiot stands for. Nobody admires him. Nobody considers him an expert or ex-athlete. Nobody wants to hear anything he says while red-faced and spitting.

Those pretty girls on the sidelines are cheerleaders, not hateleaders. They smile and dance while leading positively reinforcing chants. You don’t hear a leggy blonde yelling, “Ref, Ref you suck, and Jason Kidd is a balding schmuck.” Cheerleaders don’t even boo.

It’s always the least athletic of the bunch, isn’t it? A few weeks back I was watching a Padres game. Now, I’m no baseball expert, but I know enough (I should, after playing for forty years). The Padres had men at first and third with one out. A grounder was hit to short and the man on third base broke for home. He was thrown own by twenty feet and Mr. Baseball behind me lost his mind.

“Holy shit! They have to be the dumbest group of ballplayers I have ever seen. Why would he do something so stupid?”

Now, if I were wise and truly peace loving I would disregard the question. This time the baseball gods poked my scabbed knee and prompted a response.

“… to break up the double-play.”
“Huh?”
“He went home to prevent an inning ending double-play.”
“That doesn’t make sense.”
“Watch a few thousand more games and maybe it will.”
“Well, I wasn’t looking for an answer anyway.”
“Of course you weren’t.”

If you’re supporting your team remotely, go ahead and clap or exclaim “Yes!” occasionally. You can even utter a few oohs and ahs. Just please don’t carry on bar-side like Dick Vitale or some three-year-old throwing a tantrum because Daddy wouldn’t buy him an ice cream. It draws attention to yourself and reminds everyone in the bar why you have a desk job: You throw like my sister, strike out playing kickball, and have permanent welts from dodgeball.

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